NewsBits for May 3, 2005 ************************************************************ Silicon Valley computer thieves sentenced Operation Matrix, a major undercover investigation of stolen computer hardware and software in Silicon Valley, recovered $480 million in property and put nine people behind bars before finally drawing to a close with the sentencing of the final two defendants, law enforcement officials disclosed this week. The secretive and long-running sting operation, which dates to 1999, involved a task force of federal and local police agencies that penetrated four interrelated criminal networks operating in the Bay Area's black market for high-technology goods. - - - - - - - - - - Oregon man sentenced for hacking NM system An Oregon man has been sentenced to five months in prison for hacking into the computer system of Border Area Mental Health Service Incorporated in Silver City. U.S. Magistrate Richard Puglisi also sentenced Timothy Jason Elder to serve five months home detention after he is released from prison and to pay $38,769 in restitution. - - - - - - - - - - UK court jails dealers who sold cannabis online Three members of a drug dealing ring who used the internet to sell cannabis to addresses across the UK were sent to prison last week. The hi-tech dealers plied their illicit trade from a website known as budmonkey that was set up by Sean Jackson, a former heroin addict. Regular customers used the site to order their drugs online. The dealers - the UK's first online drug ring - then shipped the cannabis to their clients using hermetically- sealed bags to hide the smell of the drugs. - - - - - - - - - - Chinese Hacker Captured After Taunting Law Enforcement A Chinese hacker who was responsible for cracking some local Jingmen government websites was captured in a Wuhan hotel last week. The hacker, whose alias is "Yu Hua", posted his contact details on a website, and police used those details to then track him down. Police say that on April 7 Yu Hua posted the names of 11 websites that we was targetting and he said that he could make those sites collapse within ten minutes. Ten minutes later, he cracked those sites and shut them down. - - - - - - - - - - Disgruntled eBay user admits to threatening top executives A Romanian native who became disgruntled with eBay Inc.'s business practices pleaded guilty Tuesday to threatening senior executives, including the billionaires who founded and manage one of the world's largest e-commerce companies. Florin Horicianu, 37, a naturalized U.S. citizen who tried to recruit thousands of Romanians to become eBay buyers and sellers, sobbed and wiped his eyes as U.S. District Judge James Ware told him that he faced up to five years in prison and at least $250,000 in fines. - - - - - - - - - - Spying led to airport switch, court told WestJet Airlines Ltd. shifted its eastern hub to Toronto from Hamilton after stealing confidential data from Air Canada in an elaborate spying scheme, according to new court documents that show what forensic auditors uncovered on a WestJet co-founder's hard drive. - - - - - - - - - - Time Warner Loses Backup Tapes with Employee Info Media giant Time Warner said Monday that it lost a container of computer backup tapes with information on current and former employees. The tapes, which were misplaced by an outside data-storage company, contained company data including the names and Social Security numbers of U.S. employees and their dependents, the company said in a statement. Time Warner Inc. did not immediately respond to requests for comment.,1759,1791662,00.asp - - - - - - - - - - That classified US military report's secrets in full In an incredible online cock-up, the full details of a classified US military report into the shooting of Italian secret agent Nicola Calipari in Iraq have been made widely and publicly available. The error was caused by the US military itself, which posted an unclassified version of the report on the internet as a PDF file with large chunks blacked out. Acrobat user gaffe exposes classified Defense information - - - - - - - - - - FBI Says Child Porn Suspect Is Threat To The Community Channel 9 has uncovered new information about a suspected child pornographer who was back in court Monday morning. The FBI says Bobby Jones is a serious threat to the community. Neighbors of Jones have wondered about an FBI raid at his home for months. Now there are documents that explain everything. A neighbor, who raised no suspicions, is now facing federal charges of dealing in child pornography. - - - - - - - - - - World Cup worm gives Windows users the willies A new version of the increasingly tedious Sober email worm series is ensnaring victims by posing as an email from the next year's World Cup organising committee. Like previous variants, Sober-P spreads as an infected ZIP attachment to messages written in either German or English.,39020375,39196991,00.htm Two variants of Sober worm infect PCs worldwide,10801,101516,00.html Latest Sober mutant targets soccer fans Sober.P overflow has Web tipsy - - - - - - - - - - MPAA copyright victory is 'website killer' Motion Picture Association of America DMCA ruling opens Pandora's box. The US Supreme Court has declined to hear the case of (Rossi) vs. Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), a move which warns will set the stage for a continued subjective interpretation of the 'good faith' provision in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). - - - - - - - - - - Red Hackers come back! The "Red Hacker Alliance," the largest and earliest hacking outfit in China has regrouped after a short break. With some 20,000 hackers, the alliance was once the fifth largest in the world. Its Web site, set up at the end of 2000, had nearly 80,000 registered members at its peak. - - - - - - - - - - SANS revises Top 20 security vulns list Bugs in anti-virus scanners and various media players joined flaws in Microsoft and Oracle software products in a list of the 20 most serious vulnerabilities discovered the first quarter of 2005. Free security scan raises questions Security vendor Qualys is offering a free scanning service for the 20 most serious vulnerabilities recognized by SANS, a global nonprofit security training organization. SANS members from within government and business found more than 600 vulnerabilities within their networks in the first quarter of 2005. The 20 vulnerabilities Qualys will look for were chosen to help companies close the most critical holes in their networks.,39020330,39197004,00.htm - - - - - - - - - - Police chief withstands spam blitz Greater Manchester's top policeman was deluged with thousands of junk mails last week in an apparent attempt to disrupt police communications. At the peak of the assault on 28 April, GMP Chief Constable Michael Todd was receiving 2,000 spam messages an hour, the BBC reports. Some of these messages came from someone who claimed to know where Todd and his family lived. Others were spoofed so as to appear to originate from US president George Bush.,39020375,39197011,00.htm - - - - - - - - - - Wanted: Hackers to attack the House of Commons The government is tendering for a contract for thorough, regular, penetration testing of its IT defences. Hackers are to be employed to test the effectiveness of the IT security defences for the House of Commons' computer systems.,39020375,39196997,00.htm - - - - - - - - - - Ex-Sun VP guns for IP violations Sun Microsystems' former marketing and strategy vice president Mark Tolliver is taking over at a Silicon Valley start-up that promises to find hidden intellectual property (IP) traps in open source software. Tolliver, who left Sun following last year's technology sharing and legal settlement with Microsoft, is taking over as Palamida's chief executive officer and president. Tolliver was one of Sun's management behind the company's technology sharing and legal settlement with Microsoft. - - - - - - - - - - Cisco tightens the net Chief Executive John Chambers will announce the company's new breakthrough: a new device that puts up to 18 different security and network management functions, from detection of unwanted intruders to keeping employees off data-intensive free music-downloading sites such as Kazaa, all one on single box. Many of these functions are currently performed inside a data center with separate machines, which take up valuable floor space and budgets.,10801,101517,00.html IP Threats Open The Market For Detection Software Palamida competes with Black Duck in an emerging market to search for open-source code being used improperly. Now that the threat of being sued for improper use of open-source code has been unleashed, a market is developing for automated tools that detect the presence of open-source within larger application development environments.;jsessionid=XBTZ0JVSQJFNMQSNDBGCKH0CJUMEKJVN?articleID=162100717 Security is a JiWire act - - - - - - - - - - Ex-Bush Adviser Joins Cybercrime Startup A senior computer security adviser to President Bush has joined a New Jersey technology startup that protects home Internet users from hackers, con artists and other online threats. Howard Schmidt, a top cyber-security adviser to President Bush in 2003 and former security chief at Microsoft Corp. and eBay Inc., said Monday he accepted a position as chairman of the board at Electronic Lifestyle Integration Inc. - - - - - - - - - - Money laundering and cybercrime The emergence of electronic money and global systems of electronic payments formed a parallel banking system. It has the entire network of semi- legal financial institutions. The unique opportunities of quickly shaped infrastructure drew attention of criminal groups at once. It allowed anyone to rapidly transfer monetary funds to any country, anonymously, through tangled routes. - - - - - - - - - - Don't Get Hooked By Phishing More and more consumers are being deluged with e-mails claiming to be from their bank, credit card company, eBay or others asking them to update their personal or financial information. The problem is that your information goes directly to a criminal who then uses it to run up charges under your name or to open new accounts, potentially devastating your finances and credit scores. This new scam is known as phishing (search), and these scammers are trying to get consumers to take their sophisticated bait.,2933,155297,00.html Brits fall prey to phishing Phishing attacks fool fewer in April Britons fall victim to Internet scams,39020375,39196998,00.htm Users are the weakest link in combating cyber-crime, says Minister Gatt - - - - - - - - - - Research: Spyware industry worth billions Despite reductions in the number of computers infected by spyware applications, the troublesome software has created a billion-dollar industry that continues to plague both consumers and businesses, researchers said on Tuesday. According to the State of Spyware Report, issued by security software maker Webroot, the number of computers infected with spyware applications remains relatively high despite growing awareness of the epidemic and modest success in controlling it. *********************************************************** Search the Archive at: *********************************************************** The source material may be copyrighted and all rights are retained by the original author/publisher. The information is provided to you for non-profit research and educational purposes. Reproduction of this text is encouraged; however copies may not be sold, and NewsBits ( should be cited as the source of the information. Copyright 2000-2005,, Campbell, CA.